Buddy Holly had a career that was way too short, due to his death in a plane crash on the Day The Music Died. However, his music was still highly influential. He was one of the main influences for early rock music, and his sings have been recorded by literally hundreds of performers. But his heyday was the 1950's, some 60 years ago. By now, his direct influences are a generation or two in the past.
Today's artists can't possibly list him as a main influence, he was on oldie stations when they were coming up. Music has changed a great deal over the last sixty years, so it's difficult for today's performer to put him in the proper context. The result is "Rave On Buddy Holly". By and large, the performers here are bending his music to fit their styles, rather than vice versa. One of the most egregious offender is Modest Mouse, with his version of "That'll Be the Day". This does not feel like a fan giving tribute to one of his heroes, it feels like someone showing off, practically saying, "Look, I can make even THIS song cool!" It just come off all wrong, the words are Holly's, but the spirit is not. Florence + the Machine doesn't fare much better, as one of Holly's most copied songs, "Not Fade Away" feels wasted. Their style isn't right for this type of song, it feels like trying to jam a square peg into a round hole.
Not everything is all that bad. Jenny O, who I admittedly am unfamiliar with, does a very good job with "I'm Gonna Love You Too". This is the perfect example of how the music should have been done for this album, her voice is clearly not his, but she adapts to a style that feels in place for his time, and the results are very good. Kid Rock, who one would generally think out of place for this set, has a history of knowing how to toe the line with respect to those who came before him, and he also does a good job with his rendition of "Well All Right". Again, it is definitely him, but he also clearly had a great deal of respect for what Holly did, and it shows in his performance.
The Black Keys also turn in a good performance, as their style of pretty much tailor made for this something of this time. Holly also had s couple of more or less contemporaries here in Paul McCartney and Graham Nash. They do OK, but these are not exactly top notch works from them. The rest basically fall into the first category, making this a vanity project for themselves instead of playing respect to someone who paved the way for them. They have every right to do so, but the result is a terrible album that seems to miss it's own point.
There are tons of tribute albums out these days, some good, some bad. One of the very good ones was "The Art of McCartney", a tribute to Paul McCartney, who appears on this very album. I just wish everyone here listened to that one before recording for this one, it is vastly superior in quality. Perhaps it's because the man they are paying tribute to there is still one of them, while Holly is so long gone, his ways of performing are lost to time. There are other Holly tributes out there, much better ones. This feels to me like a waste of time.